Borderline Ballroom

Malcolm Riddoch & Stanier Black-Five, Kikkawa/Scowen, Adam Willetts

bb-mr-sb5Friday, December 2, 2011
8:00pm until 11:00pm

With a bill spanning lo-fi noise pop to electroacoustics, industrial musique concrete to damaged ambient folk, the Borderline Ballroom is back with an exciting bill of experimentalism, featuring Malcolm Riddoch (Perth) & Stanier Black-Five (Lytt), Kikkawa/Scowen (Dun) and Adam Willetts (Chch).

Malcolm Riddoch (Perth) & Stanier Black-Five (Lytt)

Malcolm Riddoch and Stanier Black-Five will be collaborating on a visceral slice of trans-Tasman noise fusing Stanier Black-Five’s dense industrial musique concrete with Riddoch’s phenomenologically informed electronic transformation of the performance space. Riddoch’s work explores the resonant frequencies of acoustic spaces, while Stanier Black-Five makes soundscapes largely based on her own environmental recordings and found sounds.

Kikkawa/Scowen & guest (Dun)

Motoko Kikkawa, Richard Scowen and often a third collaborator, work with sound and video recording to capture improvisations that wander unguided untamed between the camps of noise, folk, ambient, dark/no wave, ritual, rock, film and damage. They use eclectic acoustic and electric instruments, site specific found objects, multi dimensional conjuring under monikers that include Saved from the sharp teeth of a homophobic death, The ladder is part of the pit and Black Box HQ.

Adam Willetts (Chch)

Adam Willetts has been performing around New Zealand and internationally for more than a decade creating beautiful works of sparkling, electronic noise using mixtures of DIY, lo-tech and hi-fi tools.

Plus interludes of cassette chaos from resident DJ I-Rory

Borderline Ballroom

Furchick (Perth), Oranj Punjabi (Melbourne) and Mela (Lyttelton)

furchickgigFriday, September 2, 2011
8:00pm until 11:30pm

206 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch, ,

The Borderline Ballroom is proud to present an exciting all female bill, featuring two of Australia’s most compelling experimental performers, Furchick and Oranj Punjabi, plus local lofi legend, Mela.

Furchick (Claire Pannell)

Each new piece is a nonchalantly delivered slice of experimentalism, at times discordant but never repellent. A playful, adventurous ethic is betrayed by a range of offbeat home-made instruments – like a contraption built from a tin box and a slinky. Meanwhile however, the set recalls a classic avant-garde art aesthetic.

Oranj Punjabi (Fjorn Butler)
Bundling together time-warping feedback loops, cracked and mangled tape sounds, the pure tonality of no-input mixing desk, and found object manipulation (fed through dirty, hand-molded contact mics). Here, collage and concept meet an exceptionally tactile approach to the simple pleasures of making noise.

Mela is an experimental audio/visual project that revels in the medium-specific properties of a variety of obsolete media. Her performances combine an almost obsessive degree of preparation with random interjections from misbehaving equipment. She sonically and visually investigates the aesthetics of constrained gesture and broken things by layering repeating melodies, gradually effected drones, and suitably unrecognisable beats to create an imperfect but mellifluous musical microclimate.

First act on at 9pm

Borderline Ballroom

Borderline Basement

bb-poster02Saturday, February 26, 2011
5:00pm until 9:00pm

The Basement (off London St – at bottom steps next to Coffee Company, in building to right, facing the Volcano Radio Stage), ,

The Borderline Ballroom/Radio collective presents a subterranean selection of experimental sounds local and live in The Basement.

Take time out in the early evening from the bustling street to enjoy live underground sounds and interludes in a cool and relaxed environment. Performances include those by Bruce Russell, Greg Malcolm and Hi-Asobi, with additional sonic input from Stanier Black-Five, I-Rory, George Gosset and Nick Harte.

*Bruce Russell: improvising sound artist who uses tape loops, a vintage electronic organ, and a guitar…in ways their makers never imagined

*Hi-Asobi: a collaboration between Peter Wright, Antony Milton & David Khan – deceptively simple processes yield unexpected and complex results… aurally analogous to the effect of setting up two mirrors facing each other

*Greg Malcolm – although best known for his solo work with simultaneously played multiple guitar performances, Greg will be making one of his rare and captivating acoustic performances in The Basement

Alcoholic refreshments will be available from the Volcano Radio Basement Oasis bar.

Borderline Ballroom

Cinesonic performance by French collective Superflux

bb-poster01Thursday, October 7, 2010
7:30pm until 9:30pm

Philip Carter Family Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery, ,

The Borderline Ballroom, in association with Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, is pleased to announce a cinesonic performance by French collective Superflux on October 7 at the Christchurch Art Gallery, 7:30, $10.

For the last 15 years, Superflux have been engaged in exploring the relationship between performance art and the screen image. Joining forces in different ways, the members of the collective employ digital technology in concert with treated analogue sound and film, and present this through equally customized equipment. Through performing sound and film, Superflux efface boundaries between performance art and art documentation, questioning the idea that aural and visual art media function only as frames – either subservient to performance or invisibly conditioning performance.

The members of Superflux are Richarles Bronson, Lionel Palun, Gaëlle Rouard and Etienne Caire (aka Riojim). On the night, they will join forces to perform as Filmbase (Riojim, Lionel Palun), Lafoxe (Gaëlle Rouard, Riojim) and Metalking (Richarles Bronson, Riojim).


Riojim: 16mm film, customized projectors
Lionel Palun: video

Riojim presents montages that employ variations in speed and optics, and which often involve the expressive, physical deterioration of film. Palun captures these images live, re-processing them through a variety of digital effects. Sound is treated in a similar fashion: the optical track of the film and digital video signals being mixed into automatist music. In this way, Filmbase presents an interactive gestalt of film and video media, blurring distinctions between analogue and digital domains.


Gaëlle Rouard: 16mm film, customized projectors
Riojim: 16mm film, customized projectors

Lafoxe re-use and re-make found 16mm footage – often from Hollywood’s ‘golden age.’ The source films are re-edited, re-processed, re-printed, treated and coloured, then re-presented as cinematic play. In a process of reiteration that inescapably fragments and reconstructs the past, Lafoxe subverts the status of film as a record of objective truth; a reassurance that time passes in a predictable, linear sequence. This playing with cinematic convention generates drama and suspense as spectators strive to make coherent Lafoxe’s improvised ‘narration for the eyes with its… apocalyptic skids in hyperscope.’


Richarles Bronson: bass, toys
Riojim: 16mm film, customized projectors

Metalking combine thrilling, bass-heavy, improvised audio with equally startling and expressive visuals. Bronson characterizes his practice as eliminating narratives and questioning of linearity in order to ‘sculpt a sonic, compact and sensual mass, which not only appeals to the ear but also questions the place of the body in hearing.’ A similar sense of de-centering and displacement is evident in Riojim’s 16mm films where a
continuous stream of images blister and burn – first on the emulsion, then onto the retina and psyche. Can images be noisy? Can noise spark visions? The evidence of Metalking’s audiovisual synaesthesia would appear to be: of course!

Borderline Ballroom

Eye/Mela/Stanier Black-Five live

bbsb5Saturday, August 7, 2010
8:00pm until 11:30pm

El Santo Porteno, Cnr Norwich Quay & Oxford St, Lyttelton, ,

Improvisational rock/electronic group, Eye’s music is based around a series of juxtapositions: of loud versus quiet noise, of traditional rock instruments versus both analogue and digital electronics, and of driving trance-rock versus free=floating sound fields.
The group was formed in late 2003 as a trio featuring Peter Porteous (Empirical, Lapdog, Electricity) on guitar, thumb piano and Tibetan bowl, Nathan Thompson (Sleep, Renderizors, Sandoz Lab Technicians) on guitar, laptop and occasional vocals, and Peter Stapleton (Rain, Flies Inside the Sun, Sleep, A Handful of Dust, Terminals) on drums, tapes and shortwave radio. The original trio became a quartet in late 2009, with the addition of Jon Chapman (Ray-Off, Rory Storm & The Invaders, Double Leopards) on electronics.
The most recent Eye album Winterwork will shortly be released by US label Last Visible Dog.

Mela generates a mellifluous musical microclimate using obsolete and discarded sound sources to liberate layers of repeating melodies, gradually effected drones, and suitably unrecognisable beats. Revelling in the unexpected her rare performances are the combination of an almost obsessive degree of preparation with the random interjections from misbehaving equipment. Preparation and indeterminacy battle it out under Mela’s “play like Lomo” aesthetic.

Stanier Black-Five
Environmental recordings reverberate at the heart of Stanier Black-Five’s industrial musique concrète. Her visceral performances and recordings resound with the eerie echoes of ammunition bunkers and ship hulls, mesmerising aircraft drones and the pounding rhythms of trains.

Borderline Ballroom

Bruce Russell and Peter Wright

elsantoFriday, April 16, 2010
8:00pm until 2:00am

El Santo Porteno, ,



Solo & Duo Performances.

Friday April 16
EL SANTO PORTENO, Cnr Norwich Quay & Oxford St, Lyttelton

$5, 8PM

Bruce Russell is well known round town and beyond as a solo guitar abuser. His tone terrorism consists of equal parts of the white man’s blues and kosmische musik, mixed in a blender with a contact mic attached. His new solo album ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ and his book ‘Left-handed Blows’ will be for sale at the show.

A prolific sound recordist with an extensive discography Peter Wright brings tape hiss and guitar throb to the fore in his first proper solo outing for 2010. His sound explorations are rooted in drones and repetition, weaving a myriad of improvised guitar-based tonal shifts, environmental recordings and electronic effects, evocative of the flickering patterns of light at the periphery of sleep.

Bruce and Peter will each be performing solo sets before joining forces in a collaborative improvisation to round the evening off.

Doors at 8pm, first performance 9pm sharp. A merchandise table will be in operation so bring a few extra dollars to exchange for limited edition collectables from both artists.

Borderline Ballroom

Borderline Lounge

bbloungeSaturday, April 3, 2010
8:00pm until 12:00am

El Santo Porteno, Norwich Quay,

Borderline Radio presents the Borderline Lounge, an evening of music from the margins in the atmospheric basement of Lyttelton’s old British Hotel.

Borderline DJs I-Rory, Mela, Peter Wright and Stanier Black-Five will be spinning an underground selection from around the edges of twisted lounge to noisy garage, electronic eclectica to op shop vinyl, hauntology to film soundtracks.

You can also tune into Borderline Radio on a Sunday evening between 8-10pm on Volcano Radio 88.5FM in the Lyttelton area, or listen to the show streamed live at:

Borderline Ballroom

Pits/Tim Coster/Alex MacKinnon

pitsMonday, March 30, 2009
8:00pm until 11:00pm

Physics Room, ,

THE BORDERLINE BALLROOM in association with the Physics Room presents:

Pits (Mel)

Tim Coster (Akl)

Alex MacKinnon (Dun)

Monday March 30th – 8pm – $5 at the Physics Room

Pits is ex-Dunedin and now Melbourne resident, Ryan Cockburn, who has been exhibiting, recording and releasing in Australia and New Zealand under the name SPIT since 2001, with this his first tour using the Pits moniker. Cockburn, who has been associated with acts such as Eye, Jojo Ef Steve and Ray Off, describes his work as “home-wired, stuck together with tape; record interventions and caves of audio tape; scouring the fragile grooves, excavating the dust mines; wonky, outsider-art turntable percussion machines and collected trash ensembles; full of cast-offs, seconds and contradictions aplenty”.

Auckland-based Tim Coster graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from AUT in 2002, specialising in sculpture. Since then he has been practising mainly as a sound artist, working with audio releases, installations and performance. Coster uses field recordings and gathered musical sounds, played from computer and processed by a variety of looping devices to create delicate works of shifting hums. Current collaborative projects include sound-poetry/mail-art pop duo Currer Bells (with Angeline Chirnside); late-night ritual acoustic/digital time-warp trio Silent Spring; a dronez duo with Nigel Wright; repeatedly guesting with Dunedin heroes Dirtroom; as well as dance soundtracks.

Alex MacKinnon’s performance usually revolves around collaboration inside noise/improv circles. Based in Dunedin, the most recent participation in live groups has been in Dirt Room, Super Flying Pencils, Piano Queen Rainbow Star, and the Lee Noyes/ Alex MacKinnon duo. Solo performances are not common, but they draw from his primary occupation as a solo recording and installation based artist.

Borderline Ballroom

‘Dirt Beneath the Daydream’ Christchurch CD release

bb-poster18Saturday, March 14, 2009
8:00pm until 11:30pm

in association with the Audio Foundation

celebrates the release of the NZ audio compilation ‘Dirt Beneath the Daydream’

with performances by:

Greg Malcolm & Bruce Russell
Grunge Genesis
Stanier Black-Five

with DJ I-Rory

Saturday, March 14th, 8pm

at Neibelheim (under SoFA Gallery, South Quad of the Arts Centre)


Christchurch artists featured on the ‘Dirt Beneath the Daydream’ compilation celebrate its release with an evening of performances that include collaborations between local legends Bruce Russell and Greg Malcolm, folk noise alchemists Richard Neave, Adam Willetts and LA Lakers as Grunge Genesis, plus solo work from audio trainspotter Stanier Black-Five.

Dirt Beneath the Daydream is a New Zealand compilation of sound organised by The Audio Foundation and curated by Honor Harger, Zita Joyce and Jon Bywater, given away to subscribers of internationally respected experimental music magazine The Wire with their February 2009 issue, as well as with issue 10 of New Zealand’s White Fungus art/sound magazine, copies of which will be available at the event.

Christchurch artists have a strong presence on the compilation, with tracks from LA Lakers, Demarnia Lloyd (with Stuart Harris), Greg Malcolm, Richard Neave (with Lee Noyes), Bruce Russell, Stanier Black-Five and Adam Willetts.


Greg Malcolm

Greg Malcolm is has established an international reputation for his work with “solo simultaneously played multiple guitar performances” (SSPMGP) and his critically acclaimed releases. In his SSMGP, Greg uses no processing or effects (except a fuzz box occasionally), just a selection of guitars. Some are contact miked, some have extra strings and springs and things: one of these is at his side, one is played with his feet and one lies in his lap.

Richard Neave

Richard Neave plays a noise guitar… or at least he plays the guitar in a noisily fashion, as well as an array of Japanese instruments. His work includes the solo album release You’re Not Welcome, on the Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, as well as collaborations as part of the legendary James Last Appreciation Squad, CM Ensemble, Grunge Genesis and with Dunedin percussionist Lee Noyes, with whom he has recently finished an as yet unreleased album, UnRepent. Neave describes his approach as “trying to create an intensity of genuine expression that tries to circumvent or consume and override the contrivance and meekness of self-satisfied and staid song structures… although the gap between the intention and the result is often bathetic”.

Bruce Russell

Bruce Russell is an improvising sound artist, who since 1987 has been a member of the Dead C. This genre-dissolving New Zealand trio mixes rock, electro-acoustics and noise. He has also been active as a solo artist, and directed two independent labels, Xpressway and Corpus Hermeticum. He writes essays and criticism for The Wire, artists’ catalogues, and other publications. He is currently studying at RMIT towards a doctorate in sound in the School of Fine Art.

Stanier Black-Five

Stanier Black-Five’s audio work regularly fuses electronics with environmental recordings and found sounds: from mesmerising aircraft drones to the pounding rhythms of trains. As well as playing in New Zealand, she has performed across the UK and Europe, taking part in events such as the London Musicians’ Collective’s annual festival of experimental music and makes sporadic releases that include those on her self-run Argot Records label. She also writes on music and sound art for various publications worldwide.

Adam Willetts

Adam Willetts plays blissed-out noise pop using synthesizers to create rich, expansive fields of sound with a fragile yet propulsive sense of momentum, and through the sparseness of his approach allows space for subtle details and blemishes to drift into the foreground. Well known in the New Zealand noise and sound art community for his highly conceptual improvised work with self-sampling laptop, electromagnetic fields, wii remotes and other gamepads, Adam has been steadily transforming his practice since relocating from Auckland to Christchurch early last year, ditching his computer, picking up his soldering iron and building a less conceptual, more musical foundation for his work.


The Borderline Ballroom is a Christchurch-based voluntary collective aiming to provide a relaxed space for challenging listening, and a regular live venue for performative audio experimentation that supports local practitioners working on the peripheries of music and sound, while offering a resource for national and international performers touring New Zealand’s South Island.


Borderline Ballroom


bb-poster17Saturday, December 6, 2008
8:00pm until 11:00pm

Christchurch’s BORDERLINE BALLROOM hosts:

Saturday 6th Dec,
Neibelheim (under SoFA Gallery, South Quad of the Arts Centre
8pm, $5


Eye are a Dunedin rock/electronic group who use a combination of guitars, drums, sampled sounds and shortwave radio to explore the extremities of both quiet and loud noise They formed in late 2003 as a trio of Peter Porteous (Empirical, Lapdog, Electricity), Nathan Thompson (Sandoz Lab Technicians, Sleep, Renderizors) and Peter Stapleton (Rain, Flies Inside the Sun, Sleep, A Handful of Dust, Terminals). Turntablist Ryan Cockburn, who also performs solo as Spit, was also a regular member throughout 2004 and 2005 and although now living in Melbourne still makes occasional live appearances with the group. So far Eye have released a split 10″ LP (with 3 Forks) and a CDR ‘Black Ice’ on the Dunedin label Unitedfairymoons and a second CDR ‘Meridian’ plus a 7″ single ‘Interlock’/ ‘Memory Slip’ on the Auckland CMR label. They have just completed a new CD ‘Winterwork’ scheduled for release in 2009. Eye last played in Christchurch at the Physics Room in 2005.

Adam Willetts is a musician and artist whose practice shifts casually between hi-tech and handcrafted as he explores relationships and interfaces between people, technology and popular culture. His use of DIY electronics, radio, computers and game controllers creates dynamic and surprising live performances that carefully balance elements of fragile beauty with violent eruptions of static, electromagnetic interference and feedback. Adam has been performing and exhibiting throughout New Zealand and internationally since the late 1990s featuring at numerous festivals and exhibitions including Lines of Flight 2006 (Dunedin), TASIE 2006 (Beijing), S3D 2007 (Auckland), and Cloudland at ISEA 2008 (Singapore).

Anyone who has seen that Youtube clip with the maggot crawling/extracted out of that woman’s head will know that the most horrifying aesthetic frisson always contains a humorous hint of incredible hypodermic detail – just enough to turn any creeping horripilation into a bit of a comic tickle. Horror and comedy occur as awkwardly proximate sidekicks. Horror’s so willing to descend into the depths of bathos rather than contracted ineluctable despair, while Comedy is eager to sink its teeth into that very Achilles’ Heel. The limits of the Sublime come forth in a similar way when we listen to the sounds issued by Crèche Grunge Genesis. Not a desertion of some archaic nineties apparel halcyon but a re-figuring of its formative promise via the albeit somewhat musty attire of its fin de siècle musical incline, Grunge Genesis will capsize the crescendo-oriented reason of Ravel’s Bolero by becoming tentatively yet radically anti-Terpischorean in its retreating crawl back from Pukers Baroque to Peter Gabriel-sanctioned World Music™ quiescence.


this event is one leg of of a 2 WEEKEND, 2 CITY “radicalcartography” of Southern Sound… […forays into electromagnetic spectrum elucidation… expanded-field radiophony… noise-folk tradition… the social-geographics of soundculture reimagined as a poetics of city-drift… flat-earth frequencies for the google era… etc etc… featuring: EYE, ADAM WILLETTS, DIRT ROOM + TIM COSTER, GRUNGE GENESIS + RICHARD NEAVE, RADIO CEGESTE with NIGEL BUNN, A’SIDES for BETAVILLE, THE AUTO HARPIES, THE AESTHETICS, VOODOO GANGSTER…]

more on that soon + elsewhere…


with many thanks to Alex for his wonderful posterdesign…